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Overcoming Our Self-Imposed Limitations To Develop Creative Solutions
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Overcoming Our Self-Imposed Limitations To Develop Creative Solutions

Illingworth
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A common challenge when trying to improve at something is that we place conditions on what we'll do to improve. โฃ
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We see limited options (or even only one choice) for overcoming an obstacle because we ๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ. โฃ
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A chess example would be assuming that we have to play very forcefully against weaker players for fear that they will ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ธ ๐˜ช๐˜ง ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ'๐˜ต. But what if we explore other strategies? โฃ
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A poker example would be that we must master GTO as soon as possible because we're ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ if we don't. โฃ
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Watching some scenes from The Godfather led to further reflections. ๐˜š๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ (giving away critical information) severely limits one's options, usually with fatal consequences. (such as when Sonny interjected in Don Vito's meeting with Sollozzo). โฃ
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How can we discover new alternatives? โฃ
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I'll share three personal examples from this month before sharing a blueprint to follow:โฃ
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๐„๐ฑ๐š๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐Ÿ: I was starting to play more online chess and wasn't sure what openings to play as Black. Damiano Petroff tempted me, but I was concerned that my opponents might ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜บ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ธ. โฃ
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Rather than believing this assumption, I tested it and found that my opponents were utterly unprepared for Damiano Petroff, as reflected in my excellent results. โฃ
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๐„๐ฑ๐š๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐Ÿ: After recording a YouTube series on the Stonewall Dutch for Black, I considered playing it in some online games. But it had been my ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ต-๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ด๐˜บ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ as Black, as a professional player. โฃ
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I could have stopped there and said, 'It doesn't suit my style at all'. Instead, I tested the assumption and found that my new approach of focusing more on analysing many master games in my videos made me feel much more comfortable in the Stonewall as Black (and playing it much better than before). โฃ
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That feeling of ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ง ๐จ๐ฅ๐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ ๐ง๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ž๐š๐ค๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐š ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก is priceless, and it's one of the reasons why students find lessons with me so transformative and valuable. โฃ
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๐„๐ฑ๐š๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐Ÿ‘: While in Vietnam, I was reflecting on how much I wanted to go to the poker tours in Australia. While the highlight is, of course, playing poker, there are also many other significant aspects of the tours:โฃ
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- Having a holiday of sorts; โฃ
- Meeting a lot of other poker players and making new friends;โฃ
- Allowing yourself to make a lot of money by outplaying your opponents;โฃ
- Feeling your game improve significantly by learning from your experiencesโฃ
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When I played many of these tours in the first half of 2023, I sometimes thought, 'The dealers are making more money than 90-95% of us players.' โฃ
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Yesterday, it dawned on me - ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ˆ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐š ๐๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ž๐ซ? โฃ
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It's a way to attend poker tours, get paid to observe the player pool very closely, and participate in a tour without risking my entire bankroll on one series. I may play better in a series, knowing that the entry fees for the first half are covered by the wages from dealing in the second half. โฃ
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I would have previously rejected the idea because I was so wrapped up in my identity as an 'entrepreneur' that ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ. โฃ
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But with a simple reframing, we can see how working for someone else can ๐’๐”๐๐๐Ž๐‘๐“ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐๐จ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐จ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ฌ๐จ๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž. โฃ
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Before I go through my framework below for overcoming the limitations we put on ourselves to generate new (and often better) solutions to problems, I would like you to write in the comments below: w๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ž๐ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐ž๐ž ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฌ. โฃ
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This Socratic method will help you absorb the insights much more powerfully. You'll give yourself credit for the things you picked up on, making them much more a part of who you are. And for the things you didn't consider, they will especially stand out to you as areas to incorporate and focus on. โฃ
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In any case, here is my ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐š๐ฆ๐ž๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค for ๐ ๐ž๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐š๐ซ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฐ/๐ง๐จ๐ง๐ž:โฃ
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๐Ÿ. ๐‘๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ ๐ง๐ข๐ณ๐ž ๐€๐ง๐ ๐‚๐ก๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ž ๐‹๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฌโฃ
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Before we can overcome our perceived limitations, we must recognise them. โฃ
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Some general examples of such beliefs:โฃ
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- '๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ'๐˜ต ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ช๐˜ต.' โฃ
- '๐˜'๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ.' โฃ
- '๐˜'๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ.' โฃ
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We should question such beliefs to determine whether they are based on evidence or assumptions. โฃ
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Even better, we can (in the style of Tim Ferriss) be our own scientist/guinea pig, ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ง๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐ฑ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ฒ ๐จ๐ซ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ. โฃ
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๐Ÿ. ๐‚๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐€ ๐†๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ๐ญ๐ก ๐Œ๐ข๐ง๐๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ โฃ
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Funnily enough, a growth mindset is such an automatic part of who I am that I often need to remember it's not as automatic for others. โฃ
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Suppose you see your skills as ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜น๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ or need more agency to achieve your goals. In that case, consider the metaphor of life as a video or computer game—where we have ๐ฏ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐›๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ž. โฃ
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If your energy bar is low, level up your sleep, exercise and diet. โฃ
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If you know your influence level is relatively low, read a classic book (like 'How To Win Friends And Influence People') and practice one new technique from the book daily or weekly. โฃ
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The High-Performance Coaching process will be even more effective in helping you discover your solutions, but that's a topic for another time. โฃ
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๐Ÿ‘. ๐…๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐€๐ง ๐„๐ง๐ฏ๐ข๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐Ž๐Ÿ ๐‚๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ญ๐ฒโฃ
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The environment in which we work significantly impacts our creative output. I found that I got a lot more done in Vietnam than in Sydney simply because the air conditioning in Vietnam makes it much easier to stay focused and avoid distractions. โฃ
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When you ๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ž๐ง๐ฏ๐ข๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐œ๐œ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ, doing what you must do daily is much easier. โฃ
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This environment is not limited to a physical environment. This also includes having a solid mental headspace (where we aren't cluttered with external news or drama, and when we use social media, we've already primed it for success/skill development). โฃ
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Our beliefs are also shaped by the people we spend the most time with. If you suddenly become very d๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ค๐˜บ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ต๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ญ, observe what has recently changed that may have contributed to such a shift. โฃ
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๐Ÿ’. ๐๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐‘๐ž๐ ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ ๐‘๐ž๐Ÿ๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐€๐ง๐ ๐Œ๐ข๐ง๐๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌโฃ
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The power of reflection and mindfulness practices is that we become very keenly aware of our thoughts. This greater awareness leads to us seeing self-doubt and fear for what they are rather than getting all wrapped up in them. โฃ
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Furthermore, when we know the ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด that leads to those unsupportive habits or thought processes, we can prime ourselves for success by ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ฉ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ข๐๐ž๐š๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง๐. โฃ
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๐Ÿ“. ๐„๐ฆ๐›๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ž ๐…๐š๐ข๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐€๐ฌ ๐€ ๐‹๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ž๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ฒ โฃ
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Sometimes, what limits our options is simply a ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ. At the same time, every massively successful person (in any field) had to face many obstacles (and initially fail to overcome them) to get to where they are now. We can use the video game metaphor again - they had to defeat a new, stronger boss to unlock the greater rewards on the other side. โฃ
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If you keep asking yourself, '๐—ช๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐ˆ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ?' and using failures as feedback/learning rather than a bitter disappointment, you will become more resilient and enjoy tackling a problem far more. You may even start to recognise that ๐ข๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ž๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐Ÿ๐š๐œ๐ญ,๐จ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž. โฃ
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๐Ÿ”. ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ฎ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐’๐ž๐ž๐ค ๐Š๐ง๐จ๐ฐ๐ฅ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž ๐€๐ง๐ ๐ˆ๐ง๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง โฃ
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This post is a good example - we saw examples from chess, poker, The Godfather and even computer games to understand different problem-solving perspectives. โฃ
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We can often ๐ฉ๐ข๐œ๐ค ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐ ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐๐ž๐š๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ž๐ฅ๐๐ฌ, and continuing to research different topics and sub-topics will fill our heads with new ideas.โฃ
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For example, I continue to read the Lichess blogs to stay current with new and exciting ideas in chess improvement theory. โฃ
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Studying poker training materials from different coaches has allowed me to incorporate some of their teaching methods into my coaching, making my lessons far more engaging, practical and instructive. โฃ
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Now it's your turn!โฃ
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๐—ช๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฌ๐ข๐ ๐ง๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ ๐จ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ? 

Are You An Australian Chess Player Who Wants A 1600+ Rating In The Next 12 Months?

I'm looking for 10 private students who:


- Are passionate about chess;


- Are based in Australia;


- Are rated below 1600 Elo (translates to 1700 Chess.com blitz, or 1800 Chess.com rapid);

- Want to improve your chess as quickly, efficiently, and enjoyably as possible;


Once I reach my limit of 10 students, I won't be accepting any more private students.ย 


To discover more about how I can help you improve your play and subsequently, raise your chess ratings quickly, send me an email at illingworthchess@gmail.com, or direct message me on Facebook: m.me/max.illingworth.16ย 

ย 

The First Chess.com Coach Of The Month

https://www.chess.com/article/view/coach-of-the-month-gm-max-illingworth